Evaluating Stimulation Effectiveness In Marcellus Shale Through Analysis of Field Data

Open Access
Choudhary, Aditya
Graduate Program:
Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
August 08, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Yilin Wang, Thesis Advisor
  • Andrew Nathan Kleit, Thesis Advisor
  • Jeremy Michael Gernand, Thesis Advisor
  • Hydraulic Fracturing
Shale gas has become a huge source of energy supply worldwide. One of the key shale gas plays in United States is the Devonian aged, Marcellus shale in the Appalachian basin. The development of such shale plays has been made possible because of technological advances like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Marcellus Shale stretches across several states but is currently being commercially exploited in the states of West Virgina and Pennsylvania. These states have seen a tremendous increase in their oil and gas production during the last five years. However the industry still is in an evolving state and the process of fracturing can undergo a lot of improvement. A thorough evaluation of stimulation effectiveness can enhance the production parameters as well as throw light on the bottlenecks in the current practices adopted. To evaluate the prevalent practices the industry takes into considerations of geology, completions, and treatment parameters and field operations. Methods of effectiveness evaluation include micro-seismic data, fracture treatment analysis, production data analysis, and data mining techniques. This research aims at understanding the effectiveness of the stimulation parameter treatment in the Marcellus shale. The first step was to collect and evaluate the geological properties of the Marcellus Shale. We then reviewed the currently producing wells and chose 125 wells which had the complete data. We proceeded with engineering and statistical analysis to better understand the correlations between the stimulation parameters adopted by the industry and the subsequent gas production. Economic analysis was also conducted for further evaluation of the effectiveness of the stimulation parameters. From the data generated and evaluated we found out that the lateral length ranged from 1096 ft to 10616 ft with a mean value of 4675 ft. Gas production increased with lateral length. Treatment range was between the range of 75bpm to 95 bpm with a mean value of 82 bpm. Gas production was found to be adversely affected by treatment rate beyond a certain value. Similar observations were made for other controlling factors like the total pounds of proppant needed and the total volume of fluid needed. This research would help us in determining the the preferred choice of operators when it comes to choosing a treatment schedule.